Marriage can be a beautiful thing. Due to a unique Protestant upbringing I regard it as a sacrament. That is to say, God's grace pivots the heart toward one's beloved in appreciation and respect. In that pivoting, in the daily rhythms of loving and being loved by one's closest companion, one occasionally apprehends -- with an unspeakable resonance -- what the Eastern Christian tradition calls "the dance" within the Trinity.
The most pervasive images of marriage view the dance a bit differently. Construing matrimony as a sacred dance or a window into heavenly mysteries are, of course, religious descriptions. I do not necessarily expect to see such depictions on the screens of AMC or Regal Theaters. Movies, however, often generate an image of spouses, burdened by professional and domestic responsibilities, estranged from spontaneity and sex, gradually devolving from marital bliss into a cycle of deadening routines. Couples Retreat and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married movies are relevant examples. The common plot: Open with a seemingly wonderful marriage that soon becomes wearisome. Transition into a marriage retreat of similarly burdened couples. Drama breaks out at the retreat. Finally, spouses return home, reconciling themselves to drudgery until the next marriage retreat offers an escape.
Art, in many instances, reflects life. But the aforementioned compositions do not capture the roughhewn joy of newlyweds, the married couple of fifty years, and those who have transitioned from tempestuous waters to calmer seas in matrimony. With that joy and those audiences in mind -- along with the tradition of calling into radio stations to dedicate a song -- I dedicate the lyrics from Stay With You by John Legend to my beloved wife, Gabriella.
We've been together for a while now
We're growing stronger everyday now
It feels so good and there's no doubt
I will stay with you
As each morning brings sunrise
And the flowers bloom in springtime
On my love you can rely
And I'll stay with you
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